Meditation for Writing and Speaking

It is to be assumed that the reader of these lines will not wish to write articles, give lectures or make speeches on any subject of which he has not made a conscientious study, for any other course, would be definitely unethical, and could be observed to be motivated by pride, profit or propaganda.

But even when one knows a subject well, there is still the need to see the whole map of it, so that one may not over emphasize any aspect of the subject, on the one hand, or overlook any aspect of it, on the other. Therefore, before writing or speaking, a preliminary systematic review of the subject, which is a kind of meditation, may be undertaken, as follows:

Sit quietly, and tell yourself what the subject you have chosen is. Perhaps you are going to write on “Carbon — its Forms, Attributes and Actions”, on “Castles in Spain”, on “Falstaff”, on “Money — what is it?” or on “The Palingenesis of the Plastidule”. Well, then, place the subject in the centre of your attention, then say, “Road I; Review of Experiences”. When these reviews are finished, you proceed to “Road 2; class relationships; resemblances and differences”.

Next, “Road 3; parts”. Next, “Road 4; qualities”. In this way your work is not likely to be lop-sided, you are not liable to miss anything of importance, and, what is more, you are likely to have some good ideas, which you may jot down as you go along, which you would have missed if you have simply plunged into your writing without this preliminary meditation.